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04 Mar 2011 10:03:50

Isle of Wight waits for £20m bid

The Isle of Wight Council will soon hear if its bid for a £20m of Regional Growth Funding for the development of tidal energy test facilities at the Solent Ocean Energy Centre off the Island's south coast will be granted.

The bid, if successful, will provide support for 1st, 2nd and 3rd generation marine current energy converters (MCECs) and help to accelerate the development, manufacture and commercial deployment of these units. The closing date for the bid was 21 January 2011.

The council organised a strong island representation at the Tidal Today's Tidal Energy Summit held in London at the end of November last year.

"This allowed us to promote the island as a centre for renewable energy research, development and production," said the council.

"A newly produced renewable energy inward investment brochure was prepared for the summit and officers are now working through the list of contacts to develop their interest in the island.

"Our proposals for a tidal energy test centre were well received. These have now been fed into a bid for regional growth funds," said the council.

Reports have said that the initial tidal scheme being proposed by the council could be operational in just three years from now, but would consist of small one megawatt (MW) devices off the west coast of the island and larger 10MW arrays off St Catherine's Point south of the island.

But the island has even larger aspirations for tidal energy and is keen to see further private and EU matched funding to generate 250MW of tidal power, which is enough to provide power to the entire island, would then be developed by 2020.
BAE Systems, Gurit, EnviroBusiness, Southampton University, and energy developers are also reported to be working with the council to promote the proposals.

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